Montmorency holds off MSUE agreement decision

News Photo by Julie Goldberg The Montmorency County Board of Commissioners works on the 2018 agreement with MSU Extension during its meeting Wednesday.

ATLANTA — The Montmorency County Board of Commissioners discussed a 2018 agreement with Michigan State University Extension on Wednesday, though did not approve it.

MSU Extension proposed a budget of $55,127, an increase from $51,000 in 2015.

“We have been doing this for about seven years now,” MSUE District Coordinator Lisa Anderson said. “It formalizes us and it gives us an opportunity to thank you for partnering with us.”

In the budget, the mentoring portion was proposed at $17,500 while the assessment portion of the budget was increased by 2.5 percent for 2018.

“Over the seven years that we have used this agreement since the recession was going on, we kept the increases at 0 percent a couple years and at 1 percent other years knowing that the counties were struggling to make these agreements,” Anderson said. “If you average over the past seven years, it’s an increase of about 1.5 percent.”

Anderson told the commissioners that costs have increased for MSUE when completing programs.

“We are very thankful for the services provided,” she said. “We provide the curriculum and provide oversight of the staff and that’s included in our portion.”

The commissioners and Anderson discussed the possibility of not increasing the budget, which Anderson said would affect its liability to impact the staff since the funding goes to the MSUE staff.

“If we could look at the budgets and see where we are at and then we can decide if the board wants to do the full $55,127,” Chairman Daryl Peterson said.

Commissioner Stacy Carroll suggested the board should look deeper into the MSUE budget before the board’s next meeting in December.

“They do a phenomenal job, but we need to take a really good hard look at the budget,” she said. “We can approve of this agreement or if we come up with some numbers to present to them in December.”

The board did not approve the $55,127 proposed budget, but rather approved to look more into the costs of the budget.

“We can have everything put together and see if we have better numbers to present to them,” Carroll said. “We will have our whole budget done and that way we can propose a new budget to them.”

Anderson told the board she is willing to work with it on the budget and talk numbers with the commissioners.

“There is a need for the services in this county,” she said.

In other business, the board approved the 2018 local court management allocations for Friend of the Court for $6,327.00, juvenile division is $15,570.28, and circuit court is $88,241.16. Total allocations is $110,138.44. The board approved unanimously.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.